Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a problem: he cannot tolerate dissent or what he sees as disobedience to his wishes. He seems to think that he can order or legislate complete subservience to his beliefs.

DeSantis fired Hillsborough County’s state attorney, Andrew Warren, who was twice elected to his post by the voters of the county. Warren has sued to have his position restored. The trial began this week.

The firing of Warren, like DeSantis’ firing of elected local school board members, suggests a man with an authoritarian temperament who recognizes no limits on his power.

The Miami Herald reported:

Lawyers will square off this week in a Tallahassee courtroom for a politically charged trial that’s expected to center on one question:

What was Gov. Ron DeSantis’ motive for yanking Andrew Warren from office? In a surprise move in August that made national headlines, Warren, Hillsborough County’s twice-elected state attorney, was suspended from his duties and escorted out of his office by a sheriff’s deputy. It happened as DeSantis held a rally-style news conference at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at which he and others lamented aspects of Warren’s progressive approach to criminal justice.

Warren is asking a federal judge to reinstate him. He says the suspension was political retaliation against his right to free speech. DeSantis says he did it because Warren refused to enforce state laws.

Warren is asking a federal judge to reinstate him. He says the suspension was political retaliation against his right to free speech. DeSantis says he did it because Warren refused to enforce state laws.

WHO WILL TESTIFY?

Warren’s lawyers in recent weeks have deposed nine witnesses. They include several members of the governor’s staff, among them his former press secretary Christina Pushaw, who famously tweeted the night before the suspension to prepare for the “liberal media meltdown of the year…”

The governor’s lawyers deposed five people. They include two Hillsborough prosecutors who may offer insight into Warren’s policy against prosecuting certain minor offenses — one of the reasons the governor cited in accusing Warren of neglecting his duties.

The actual written policy indicates individual prosecutors should use their discretion in deciding whether to pursue such crimes. Warren contends the policies were not a blanket refusal to enforce laws.

The local sheriff complained that Warren refused to prosecute homeless people who slept in business parking lots for trespassing. Warren said that prosecuting them would not solve the problem of homelessness.

Among a deluge of exhibits to hit the court file: a memo that the governor’s staff prepared before Warren’s suspension, noting that Warren was described in a news story as something close to a “social justice warrior.”

It mentioned his refusal to prosecute 67 protesters who were arrested on unlawful assembly charges during protests over the murder of George Floyd.

The memo seemed to express particular concern over Warren’s stance on abortion, and his having signed a pledge with other elected prosecutors to refrain from prosecuting abortion-related cases. (Warren signed a similar pledge against prosecuting transgender healthcare cases.) The memo included a legal analysis of how the governor could justify suspending him.

What seemed to anger DeSantis most was that Warren made clear that he would not prosecute people who defied the state’s abortion ban. To DeSantis, Warren was “woke” and, as the Governor likes to say, Florida is where “woke” goes to die.

How could Governor DeSantis ignore a state prosecutor who defied him? That’s why he fired him.

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article269344527.html#storylink=cpy